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Midvale Road among sites considered for technology center

Port of Sunnyside property along Midvale Road is one of five sites to be surveyed for a possible technology or data center, similar to Microsoft's recent construction in Quincy.

Yakima County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $25,000 grant to hire Angelou Economics of Austin, Texas to conduct the study.

New Vision, also known as the Yakima County Development Association, is overseeing the project.

Dave McFadden, New Vision's president, said software and internet companies are looking for areas where large amounts of land and energy are available at prices less expensive than those on the west side of the state.

"They are hungry for cheap power," McFadden said, noting that Yakima County is competitive in terms of energy prices.

He noted the Midvale Road property may be of particular interest to firms because the site is served by both Pacific Power and Light and Benton REA. "There's not another site like that," McFadden said.

The survey will likely be completed by April, and will provide two benefits.

First, McFadden said it will help New Vision be aware of potential sites for technology centers if a firm expresses interest.

Secondly, if the survey reveals that none of the Yakima County sites are suitable for technology centers, then Angelou will identify other industries the county could draw.

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